SuzAnne Llano
How I Started Competitive Bodybuilding at 40 and Fell in Love with the Discipline and Commitment


We talked with SuzAnne Llano in November, 2019. Follow SuzAnne on Instagram and Facebook
Country:
United States
Age:
49 years
Weight:
54 kg
(120 lbs)
Height:
165 cm
(5 '5)


Instagram, @suzannellano

Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training

Hello! I’m SuzAnne Llano and in 2020 I’ll be 50 years old!

I’m originally from Long Island, New York. I now reside in Wellington, Florida. I’m a personal trainer and online fitness coach for bikini and figure galls.

I have two college aged children that are by far my greatest accomplishment.

My greatest fitness endeavors are winning three Natural Pro cards in Figure and a Bikini Masters win at Europa.

I also just completed my website with an array of workouts and nutrition plans.

My partner Greg has been my driving force.

I’ve been an athlete my entire life starting with ballet and all genres of dance. I have played division one tennis in a ladies league for over ten years. I love to snow ski, bike, hike, run, play tennis and paddleboard.

Competitive bodybuilding has been a passion of mine since I was 40 years old.

I started competing to overcome a divorce and focus on health and self-control. I love the discipline and commitment of body building and I feel that outer strength becomes inner strength especially for females.

I studied dance for many years and performed for 15 years. This is were I gained the discipline.


Instagram, @suzannellano

Describe a typical day of training


I train alone, I just always use it as therapy and my happy hour.

My philosophy for training is be consistent, get to the gym 6 days a week, meal prep, get good sleep, plenty of water, no alcohol, don’t give in to the peer pressure and stay laser focused on your health

I normally train two body parts a day. I run sprints 5 days a week with plyometrics in the mix.

I’m usually in the gym for one hour. That’s 10 min warm up, 45 min of training and 10 min stretch for cool down. Leg day I can be there a little longer.

To me lots of people get distracted by conversations, their phone or way too long of rest periods. I believe in minimal distractions. I try to be in the zone, dodging lengthy conversations with other gym members.

I train my personal clients out of my clubhouse and I train myself at LA Fitness.

My gym bag has jump ropes, resistance bands, Biofreeze, ankle weights, wrist wraps, gym, deodorant and lip gloss lol.

I do steady state cardio on the weekend, I love a long bike ride or run on the beach, I get plenty of single tennis play on the weekends too.

I train alone, I just always use it as therapy and my happy hour.

I meal prep so I’m never ravenous, tupperware and zip locks are my best friends.

How do you keep going and push harder?


I want to be in the gym for the next 30 years

My children are major athletes both pursuing careers as EMT/Firefighters/Paramedics while taking college credits and working, so as a family we train and push each other.

I’ve been a role model of health for them since their birth, they played every sport, and both competed at the state level. I am and always will be their biggest fan.

I’ve been called the innovator at the gym, having a dance background I incorporate a lot of diversity in my workouts that are nonconventional.

Turning 50 this year, I try to remember that I want to be in the gym for the next 30 years so going super heavy is not so important as good form and technique.

I have a partner who is super health conscious, vegan, bodybuilder, tennis player, skier, etc., you must have a supportive mate who understands your quest for health and wellness and be on the same playing field or it will never work.


Instagram, @suzannellano

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

I wish I would have started earlier than 40 years old doing figure competitions, but I was raising a family and that was priority at the time.

I’d like to go to Master’s Nationals this year and compete in Bikini 50+.

I’m still building up my website with more programs and more online coaching to reach people globally in their fitness goals.

I’m thinking of writing a book representing single moms who are 50+, that are independent and use fitness to keep them sane.

I want to share my story of how competing took me to another level of fitness, share that vegans can have muscle and you can survive divorce while raising some amazing kids, all while being a working single mom.

How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?


I literally have a trunk of sneakers in my truck

At my age and activity level, injuries do happen, so I tend to swim when body parts start to ache.

You need to have good sneakers and buy them often, I literally have a trunk of sneakers in my truck, I switch them out all day long. I have specific running, weightlifting, tennis, and biking sneakers.

Your feet are everything and deserve TLC!

I do lots of stretching and sleep 8 hours a night.

I have a membership for monthly massages which I believe every athlete need.

I use a few powdered supplements that I put in my oatmeal each morning like spirulina and glucosamine.


Instagram, @suzannellano

How is your diet and what supplements do you use?

I’m vegan now and have been for the last 3.5 years, before that I was the typical bodybuilding carnivore.

My nutrition is pretty cut and dry, I keep to the staples like oatmeal, berries, vegan protein powders, nut butters, seeds and nuts, sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, seitan (made 100 different ways) veggies of all types, beans, and bean pasta, tempeh and fruits.

Most places, when eating out, will prepare your foods with no butter, oils or seasonings if you ask.

I completely avoid alcohol and when traveling, my partner and I sometimes freeze foods and throw them in our luggage. We always get a kitchen where we are staying and cook some meals.

I try not to cheat, because the guilt is too much too handle, I stay within a five pounds range during the off season.

If I have cravings its usually dates, vegan cheese or too much nut butter.

When I need to start cutting, I’ll reduce the fats and increase protein and veggies.

I do love my espresso coffee, and I’m addicted to green tea, no other beverages but water.

I’m old school, I do not track calories, macros, steps, or heart rate and I don’t wear headphones. I’m kind of just accustomed to it by now.

The supplements I use are generally vegan. I use pea protein, pumpkin and hemp protein in my shakes and in my oatmeal.

In the past I used a lot of supplements when I was a carnivore, but I now just eat a plant based diet loaded with fruits and veggies.

I’m faithful to my seeds of hemp, flax and chia. I use a powdered glucosamine mixed in my oatmeal. It can cost a fortune when you get committed to supplements.

What has inspired and motivated you?

I have a master certification from ISSA in group fitness/personal fitness/sport and fitness nutrition/strength and conditioning and corrective exercise, I’m currently working on a transformation specialist certification.

These endorsements keep me up on the new innovations in fitness.

Continuing my education in fitness is constant, this just keeps improving my game and my clients prosper.

I read The China Study and it literally changed my life.

I also have a bachelor’s degree in education specializing in Physical Education.


Instagram, @suzannellano

Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?


To see a change, you must make a change.

So many people I have seen in the past 10 years at my local gym are still in the same shape, drinking alcohol and eating out the American way.

This lifestyle will never get you the health and body you desire. It takes food prep, planning and changing your workouts to stimuli the muscle gains.

To see a change, you must make a change.

Are you taking on clients right now?

I currently train a lot of tennis players, beauty pageant contestants and equestrian riders; I do online coaching as well.

I believe my clients are happy with my service and quality of training. I keep the workouts spicy and not mundane. I have a creative way to get the muscle worked.

I’ve had some clients for over four years. I take on clients of all levels and ages.

I’m not a fan of clients that are late, or cancel or whine, we have a job to do and results to get so, it’s game on!

Where can we learn more about you?

Check me out at my website, Suzannellanofitness.com.

Facebook: @SuzanneLlano and @SuzanneLlanoFitness
Instagram: @SuzanneLlano


Ready to get really fit and inspired?

I’m Mads Phikamphon, founder of Bulk Hackers.

Here on Bulk Hackers we interview bodybuilders, personal trainers and fitness heroes. We ask them to share their stories and all their greatest hacks!

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